Sarah Silverman says that most comics’ sense of humor comes from self-loathing. For her, that wasn’t really the case:
"I think my comedy came more from humiliation… I was a chronic bed-wetter. I had this deep, dark secret. If I had to go to sleepover parties I would just pinch myself awake all night.
The…thing that made me feel the most Jewish, because we weren’t religious in any way, was that I was so friggin’ hairy compared to these Carol Reed, L.L. Bean blonde Aryans that I lived with. So there was that. You want to be funny before anyone is funny on your behalf.”
Silverman just won an Emmy for best writing for a variety special, her HBO special, We Are Miracles.
These findings highlight the important role of bacteria in the bidirectional communication of the gut-brain axis and suggest that certain organisms may prove to be useful therapeutic adjuncts in stress-related disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Is our microbiome – the ecosystem of bacteria in our gut – running our lives?
For more on the subject, see Rob Dunn’s fascinating book The Wild Life of Our Bodies: Predators, Parasites, and Partners That Shape Who We Are Today.
The Presbyterian Church U.S.A. voted to divest their stock from three American companies on the grounds that these companies participate in the unjust and illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.
The Presbyterian Church’s resolution is persuasive because it embodies two principles: the recognition that without U.S. backing, Israel cannot continue its crimes against the Palestinians and violations of international law, and that the most direct path for Americans to change policy is at home, acting where they have the strongest political and economic power.
More: The Presbyterian Church’s All-American Divestment from the Israeli Occupation, Boston Review
For the simplicity that lies this side of complexity, I would not give a fig, but for the simplicity that lies on the other side of complexity, I would give my life.
The Daily Dot: What’s really motivating the cultural panic over The Hunger Games and The Fault in Our Stars?
"Columnists like Ruth Graham seem personally offended not just by the presence of YA, but by the fact that a growing percentage of YA readers are in their 20s and 30s. Graham wrote, “Fellow grown-ups, at the risk of sounding snobbish and joyless and old, we are better than this.” Her simultaneous put-down of YA and confidence in what “adulthood” means is a generational tell, reflecting a sociocultural divide that has significant implications in the changing American landscape.”
Mariana: As a millennial who identifies with this article more than I’d like to admit and a YA novel reader too, I’ve never seen a piece that more accurately pinpoints the problem with the current backlash against YA.
In journalist Matt Taibbi’s latest book, The Divide, readers are lead through a justice system which is full of injustices.
There is some evidence that meditation boosts the immune response in vaccine recipients and people with cancer, protects against a relapse in major depression, soothes skin conditions and even slows the progression of HIV. Meditation might even slow the aging process. Telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes, get shorter every time a cell divides and so play a role in aging. Clifford Saron of the Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California, Davis, and colleagues showed in 2011 that levels of an enzyme that builds up telomeres were higher in people who attended a three-month meditation retreat than in a control group.
As with social interaction, meditation probably works largely by influencing stress response pathways. People who meditate have lower cortisol levels, and one study showed they have changes in their amygdala, a brain area involved in fear and the response to threat.
How to leave a party: Ghost vs. Goodbye – another brilliant flowchart for modern life from artist Wendy MacNaughton and writer Caroline Paul (a powerhouse creative couple), who previously gave us Should I Check My Email? (one of the best infographics of 2013) and What Mode of Transportation Should I Use?
Pair with MacNaughton’s wonderfully thoughtful illustrated love letter to life’s meanwhile moments and some of our past collaborations.